Manchester City Council

Northwards Ho

First call and principle task this morning entails only a short journey down to Blackley Village to the Council's offices in Hexagon Tower. I'm there to meet officers from our Regeneration division and one of our key partners Barbara Forshaw, Vice-Principal of the Manchester College. Together we are interviewing to select a team to do a " refresh " of the North Manchester Strategic Regeneration Framework.

Around ten years ago the City Council adopted a " whole city " approach to regeneration, an approach designed to give us the ability to discuss with citizens in every part of the city what it is that the Council with its partners and with those communities themselves is doing to improve quality of life in their neighbourhood. Clearly some neighbourhoods will at various times require bigger inputs than others and no two neighbourhoods have the same needs or aspirations and we need a system of service planning that eflects that. We now have five Strategic Regeration Frameworks ( SRF ) which along with the City Centre Strategic Plan cover every part of the city. Each SRF covers a wide area and so are very much high-level plans but they are supported by a series of ward and local plans getting us down to neighbourhood level. The SRF is a working document. It sets out a clear vision for the area, a vision which comes out of discussion between the Council, other public, private, and voluntary sector partners, as well as most importantly the people who live and work in the area. The SRF sets out the major interventions needed and the general direction of travel. It supports the bids we make to Government, the EU, and other bodies for funding. It allows potential investors to have a clear understanding of our aspirations for any given area, and it is a tool for residents to influence what the Council is doing at that strategic level. The current SRF for North Manchester was published almost seven years ago, in 2003. Many of the targets set out in that document, though not all, have been wholly or partially achieved. But seven years is a long time, the world we operate in has changed very significantly and we need to move on, hence the need for a refresh. The vision will remain the same, for North Manchester to be a collection of high quality residential neighbourhoods. How we continue to pursue that vision over the next decade will be very different to what we did in the last and so this is an opportunity to think about, talk about and understand where next for North Manchester and what we need to do to get there.

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There are 19 responses to “Northwards Ho”

  1. bicolouredpythonrocksnake Says:

    Is there a nod here to the play Eastward Ho that got Ben Jonson arrested?

  2. Cat Says:

    I hope tonight Richard Leese you hang your head in shame over your comments over why schools closed. We closed because we want to avoid tragedies like the little girl who slipped on the ice outside her school because the road was slippy. Blackburn might not fall into your jurisdiction but it's not different than any other school who closed due to dangerous roads and pavements and all the other reasons which have been spelled out in other comments. You lost your dignity when you made your comments initially, now you should eat your words. Shame on you, you offered criticism, not support to help clear roads and pavements. You're not a leader, you have no right to hold your title, go on television now and justify your comments. Oh, and if I have mispelt anything here, so what. Next time headteachers close a school, ask your self why and what YOU can do to help instead of hiding under the cloak of " It's someone else's job". What did you do, precious little.

  3. anon Says:

    Is it perhaps a little naïve to think that all the kids off school were safely tucked away from all the dangerous snow and ice, or were most of them out sledging and running round throwing snowballs at anything that moves (including busses and cars round my way) In H& S terms not much difference

  4. Julian Says:

    When I were a lad (and that's not that long ago honest). a more pragmatic, common sense approach seemed to prevail. Our schools only ever closed if the antiquated central heating system cocnked out. The school's caretaker would clear pathways, we were drafted in to help do the same in our older years instead of playing football on a frozen pitch. We'd sit in our classrooms in early afternoon hoping we might get sent home early but it rarely happened. We went to school in our wellies which helped the grip and changed into indoor shoes at school. Every school has a number of teachers, assistants and other staff who could, if so minded muck in. Instead it seems we have to carry out a risk assessment on the risks of making such an assessment, recodr the findings and copy them to various interested parties. The main pathway to the school would have been cleared by now. Perhaps Sir Richard should back up his comments with practical assistance. Ample grit in storage at schools (in place by October each year) and decent snow shovels (about £8 from a leading builders warehouse).

  5. Simon Says:

    All the H & S assessments these days are a joke, we make it more dangerous by allowing people to use it as an excuse. In its pure form H and S works but all it creates is a load of reasons and excuses why things dont happen. Great principal totally abused by the PC brigade who have nothing but criticism. Yes the pavements were bad but we still moved and got to work and boarded trains and planes and coaches. H and S assumes the principal of perfect delivery of services. There is only one problem with perfection it doesnt exist, well only in Narnia.

  6. Julian Says:

    Hate to be a pedant Simon but a principal is a head teacher or the first of many. The word you were seeking is principle.

  7. Spelling Police Says:

    @ Julian

    You don't hate to be a pedant at all, otherwise you wouldn't have bothered correcting someone on semantics. You might also want to check the typos in your previous post before picking up on other folks' errors. You clearly spent too much time at school. Perhaps a few days off in the winter would have stopped you turning into the pedant you despise so much…

  8. Pedant Says:

    I'm the Pedant round these parts and as such I must point out that the correct usage of an apostrophe in the word 'folk's' is 'folk's' and not 'folks'' as written in the following sentence:

    'You might also want to check the typos in your previous post before picking up on other folks' errors'

  9. Jimbo Says:

    7. Spelling police

    It's not semantics, it's spelling. But fair do's, I hate it when people correct other people as well.

  10. Spelling Police Says:

    • Is it though, Pedant? It would be folk's if I was referring to folk in the singular, but I wasn't, I was using the plural of the world folk (even though, I grant you, Julian didn't pick on more than one person), so the apostrophe should indeed be after the s. I can't very well go typing folks's, can I? That’s just wrong! My grasp of the facts may be shaky, but I think you’ll find my use of punctuation to be correct ;)

  11. Julian Says:

    I was simply correcting spelling, not questioning the meaning of the word (which is what semantics is). I would love to check for typos before posting but unfortunately there does not seem to be the facility to preview a post before submitting. Maybe a few less days off might have improved my typing skills.

  12. Pedant Says:

    Spelling Police, surely there is no plural or singular when using the word 'folk'. The word is a substitute for 'people' and surely cannot be used to susbtitute the word 'person'.

    For example to say 'This folk' is wrong whereas 'Those folk.' is correct.

    I must admit that I'm running the risk of choking on my own pedantry here, but I'm fairly sure I'm right ;)

  13. Spelling Police Says:

    @ Julian

    I know what semantics means. I am the mighty Spelling Police, after all. That's why I used the word. When you went into the meaning of the word principal/principle, you turned your point into one on semantics rather than spelling, for me, at least. I'm nothing if not a committed pedant!

    @ Jimbo

    If you hate it when people correct other people, then why go out of your way to correct someone yourself? Frankly I feel victimised. I hope you're satisfied...

  14. Spelling Police Says:

    @ Pedant

    You're right, of course. You can't have 'a folk', however you can have 'folks' as heard in Porky Pig's immortal line 'That's all, folks!'. What I meant, but put across dreadfully, having re-read my post, was that Julian needed to check himself before he wrecked himself, as it were, and make sure he ensured his own posts were error-free before pulling up other people on theirs, assuming that he would do this again in the future to people other than Harry. Hence ‘folk’s’ becoming ‘folks’’. Blimey. I feel like Blackadder explaining ‘Great Booze Up, Edmund!’. :P

  15. Pedant Says:

    Spelling Police, I'm now inclined to agree with your point. I would also like to suggest that in addition to checking himself before wrecking himself, Julian might benefit from keeping it real or even kicking it old school.

  16. Jimbo Says:

    13. Spelling Police

    I'm sorry that you feel I'm victimising you. It's the way the cookie crumbles though. You win some you lose some. Inside every scratchy oyster lives a shining pearl. I now await the cliche police.

  17. John Says:

    Just a couple of comments to make re closure of schools.

    First, in relation to Health and Safety, it's worth remembering that the Health and Safety framework and legislation were put into place in order to protect ordinary people. It is the reason why the vast majority of people currently dying painful deaths from mesothelioma contracted asbestosis before the legislation was introduced. H&S has significantly improved the lives and working conditions for everyone. It is certainly true that there are instances where H&S is used as an excuse for people not doing things that they don't want to do and also of excessive caution; this, however, is the result of the fact that we live in a world of ambulance chasing law firms and a general willingness in our society to sue at every opportunity to make financial gain. If employers (in this case, schools) are afraid to open because they will get sued then we, as a highly litigious society, have to take the blame.

    The other point I'd like to make is a bit cynical. If a school is formally closed then absenteeism doesn't count against its attendance targets; if it opens and only half the pupils turn up then absenteeism does count and the school is penalised. Targets don't make a good incentive for opening in extreme weather- for head teachers it must feel like turkeys voting for Christmas.

    Finally as a resident of Warrington who works in Manchester I can only say that I'm impressed with how quickly the City Centre was cleared of snow. In Warrington the main roads were still blocked the week after the snow came down and the schools remained closed until the roads were clear.

  18. Simon Says:

    My God, a couple of glasses of wine, a typo and I am public enemy number One. Is the death sentence coming back for spelling errors. !!
    All corrections received gratefully from my obviously more better educated than I were colleagues

  19. Pedant Says:

    "All corrections received gratefully from my obviously more better educated than I were colleagues"

    Good Lord Simon, I don't even know where to begin with this one!



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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